This recipe is from Rose Levy Beranbaum, the cake goddess herself. She calls it Chocolate Oblivion Torte. I call it Chocolate Makeover Cake, because you take three ingredients, give them a massage, put them in a bath, give them a blowout (of sorts), and they turn into A CAKE! It’s weird, yet wonderful. The icing on the cake, if you will, is the fact that this one is gluten-free! Yes! All of your friends who can’t eat your regular cakes can totally eat this one. Just watch them dig in with gusto.
I know, you’re wondering if I’ve taken my medication. I have. Let me show you how we make this magical mystery cake.
Recipe via Food52
- 1 pound GOOD bittersweet chocolate (I use Ghirardelli 60% cacao)
- 1 cup of butter (two sticks)
- 6 eggs
- Optional: whipped cream, fruit, or fruit sauce for serving
That’s it! Those are literally all of the ingredients. This one is all in the execution. And the execution is just three steps! Melt, mix, and fold. Yeah, I am not one for complicated stuff. Let’s take this chocolate to the spa.
Before you get going, set your oven to 425F, put a saucepan of water on the oven to boil, and prep your pan. You need an 8″ springform (I used a 9″ but an 8″ is preferable), waxed paper, butter, and heavy duty foil. Butter your pan, line the bottom with wax paper, and wrap the whole thing in foil, twice (just to make sure there’s no leaking). Your prepped pan will need to go inside another pan for the water bath (yes, you’re now bathing your baked goods), so find something big, like a roasting pan. Place your pan in it and set that aside.
Put the chocolate chips and butter in a large microwave-proof bowl and melt them together in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring every 30 seconds. Mine took about two minutes total. You want them just melted, not boiling.
Crack your eggs into the bowl of your mixer, turn the heat on the water to simmer, and set your bowl into the simmering saucepan. Whisk your eggs until they are just warm to the touch—mine took just about a minute.
Once the whisked eggs are warm, put the bowl on your mixer stand and turn it to high. You want it to beat A LOT of air into the eggs, until they are foamy and huge. The recipe says they will triple in size but I feel like mine quintupled, at least.
Add half of your eggs to the chocolate mixture and fold them in. You do this by cutting your spatula down through the middle of the bowl and bringing it up the side closest to you as you turn the bowl about a quarter turn. This is the best method for mixing it all together while keeping some of the loft in your eggs. You’re massaging the ingredients together. These things take finesse.
Continue this until it is mostly incorporated, then add the other half of your eggs and fold until it’s uniform.
Dump this mix into your prepared pan and smooth the top. I did not smooth the top, with the result that the dollops in the batter are visible in the final cake. I didn’t know! This was literally the first time I’d made this. Take the water from your saucepan and pour it into the roasting pan about an inch up the side of the springform, then pop it all in the oven. This is the part where the cake gets a nice hot bath. Enjoy your time in the steam room, baby.
You only have to bake this for five minutes before you cover it, so set a timer! After five minutes, cover the top with buttered foil and bake just 10 minutes more. And don’t over-butter the foil like I did, or the butter will melt and drip onto the top of your cake. The tiny pools of butter are not super attractive.
The edges will look slightly set, and you will be thinking there is no way on earth this cake is done. BUT IT IS! Take it out, put it on a rack to cool for 45 minutes, then chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
Unmolding the cake requires a hair dryer. I’m not making this up. Of course it needs a blowout after its massage and bath! We want these run-of-the-mill ingredients to be transformed into a beautiful SWAN! Heat the sides of the springform with the hair dryer until they’re hot, then run a knife around the cake and pop the spring off. Butter a sheet of plastic wrap and put it on a flat tray at least as wide as the cake pan (I used a cutting board). Put the plastic-covered cutting board on top of the cake and invert it. Then heat the bottom with your hair dryer. Remove the bottom and the sheet of waxed paper, then invert the cake again onto your serving plate.
This cake is best served at room temperature, where it has a mousse-like consistency. If it’s colder, as it was when I served it, it will be denser. I topped mine with whipped cream but fruit would not be amiss here; the chocolate would actually benefit from having something fresh to cut through the richness. Also, I cut mine into 16ths but it would have been better had I cut it into 32nds. Seriously, it is that rich. I mean, it can afford a makeover day at the spa.
I didn’t have leftovers, and I got at least one request for the recipe, so we’re gonna say that this Chocolate Makeover was a success. Whip this puppy up and marvel at the wizard you are. Three ingredients? That looks like cake to me.